Structuring Pronunciation exercises/activites for Chinese students speaking english

Blitxll

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Sep 22, 2020
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Teacher (Other)
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English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
China
I am a new teacher and have a full schedule of classes (17, 45min classes a week). All of which are devoted to speaking North American English. There is no curriculum to speak of my only guidance is the requirements of the IELTS.

-When dealing with pronunciation exercises how long should you spend on a certain sound?
-Is it better to go through a variety of similar sounds like /s/,/z/, the "th" sound in thanks? Then have the students keep producing the sounds until your confident they've learned it?
-Would it be better to break up the sound exercises with stress and intonation?
-As for exercises I find it challenging to find anything for Pronunciation. I am scouring the internet but because of lack of time I feel like I might be missing something.

I'm just a little overwhelmed at the moment and I would just like to get some perspective on this. Currently im doing minimal pairs of "trouble" sounds in Mandarin like the 'th' the 'e' vowel sounds and the 'o' vowel sounds. my exercises have consisted mostly class repetition, sound mazes, and another activity that works like an information gap. I really don't want to bore the kids to death but with this many classes and having pure focus on speaking I feel that I have to be teaching pronunciation everyday.

(sorry about the lack of IPA symbols, I'll figure that out later)

Any Suggestions are welcome.

Thanks for your time.

Blitxll
 

emsr2d2

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Jul 28, 2009
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British English
Home Country
UK
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I am a new teacher and have a full schedule of classes (17 no comma here 45min classes a week), all of which are devoted to speaking North American English. There is no curriculum to speak of. My only guidance is the requirements of the IELTS.

- When dealing with pronunciation exercises, how long should you spend on a certain sound?
- Is it better to go through a variety of similar sounds like /s/,/z/, the "th" sound in "thanks", then have the students keep producing the sounds until your confident they've learned [STRIKE]it[/STRIKE] them?
- Would it be better to break up the sound exercises with stress and intonation?
- As for exercises, I find it challenging to find anything for pronunciation. I am scouring the internet but because of a lack of time I feel like I might be missing something.

I'm just a little overwhelmed at the moment and I would just like to get some perspective on this. Currently [STRIKE]im[/STRIKE] I'm doing minimal pairs of "trouble" sounds in Mandarin like the 'th', the 'e' vowel sounds and the 'o' vowel sounds. My exercises have consisted mostly of class repetition, sound mazes, and another activity that works like an information gap. I really don't want to bore the kids to death but with this many classes and having pure focus on speaking, I feel that I have to be teaching pronunciation [STRIKE]everyday[/STRIKE] every day.

(Sorry about the lack of IPA symbols; I'll figure that out later.)

Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks for your time.

Blitxll

Welcome to the forum. :hi:

I'm going to leave the answers to someone here who teaches pronunciation (I'm a teacher of conversational English but with no specific pronunciation classes). However, please note that I've made some corrections to your post above. Don't take it as criticism; just remember that learners on this forum will see that you're a native speaker and assume that everything in your posts is written correctly. We spend a lot of time correcting their capitalisation and punctuation so we endeavour to make sure that our own posts follow the advice we give them day in, day out.
 

jutfrank

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Mar 5, 2014
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English Teacher
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English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
I am a new teacher and have a full schedule of classes (17, 45min classes a week). All of which are devoted to speaking North American English. There is no curriculum to speak of my only guidance is the requirements of the IELTS.

Which requitrements? Do you mean it's an IELTS prep class? Why North American English?

-When dealing with pronunciation exercises how long should you spend on a certain sound?

Until you make reasonable progress. If you're not making any progress, you should probably stop.

-Is it better to go through a variety of similar sounds like /s/,/z/, the "th" sound in thanks? Then have the students keep producing the sounds until your confident they've learned it?

That works, yes.

-Would it be better to break up the sound exercises with stress and intonation?

That seems like a good idea, yes.

-As for exercises I find it challenging to find anything for Pronunciation. I am scouring the internet but because of lack of time I feel like I might be missing something.

What exactly are you looking for?

I really don't want to bore the kids to death but with this many classes and having pure focus on speaking I feel that I have to be teaching pronunciation everyday.

It's probably a good idea to stop short of death, yes. :-D

I'm sorry I can't give you more helpful advice. I'd really need to see your class profile and lesson plans to judge what I think is too much or appropriate/inappropriate. It seems you've been thrown in at the deep end, so you'll really just have to learn for yourself what works and what doesn't work. This is all quite normal for a new teacher, so try not to worry.

I wish you luck. Come back here with any specific problems you might have. We'll be more than happy to help.
 

Blitxll

New member
Joined
Sep 22, 2020
Member Type
Teacher (Other)
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
China
Which requirements? Do you mean it's an IELTS prep class? Why North American English?

The requirements of the English speaking section of the test and all the marking criteria that goes with it. If your unfamiliar with the test the marking is divided equally between: grammar structure, lexical knowledge, coherence and fluency, and pronunciation.

I guess you could call it an IELTS prep class. You would think that the IELTS would want to have some sort of curriculum to help promote their test. I teach other classes that have curricula. It never dawned on me that this IELTS speaking class is without a curriculum by design.

The reason why I teach North American English because all of the students I teach will go to North America in the future.

What exactly are you looking for?

Most of the materials I have found online work in isolation, meaning I have a segment in my class where I focus on pronunciation then switch to something else. From the limited amount of time I have been teaching I have noticed that during my pronunciation classes I get good results; but as soon as I switch to some other skill all of the pronunciation work we have done seems to be forgotten.

I think that teaching pronunciation skills earlier in the a students English language life yield much better results over the long term but the students I have are in middle school. Most of the materials that I encounter are for primary school students so I was wondering are their different strategies to teach older students pronunciation? Also, is there a technique for linking pronunciation practice to the rest of the class material?

Is teaching a sink or swim kind of profession?
 
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